Despite Attacks from Critics, Climate Science Will Prevail
The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges it has been a rough few months for his organization. But, he argues, no amount of obfuscation and attacks by conspiracy theorists will alter the basic facts — global warming is real and intensifying.
The Secret of Sea Level Rise: It Will Vary Greatly By Region
As the world warms, sea levels could easily rise three to six feet this century. But increases will vary widely by region, with prevailing winds, powerful ocean currents, and even the gravitational pull of the polar ice sheets determining whether some coastal areas will be inundated while others stay dry.
In the Mountains of the Moon, A Trek to Africa’s Last Glaciers
The shrinking ice cap atop Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s most famous glacier. But the continent harbors other pockets of ice, most notably in the Rwenzori Mountains of western Uganda. And as temperatures rise, the Rwenzori’s tropical glaciers — located as high as 16,500 feet — are fast disappearing.
How High Will Seas Rise? Get Ready for Seven Feet
As governments, businesses, and homeowners plan for the future, they should assume that the world’s oceans will rise by at least two meters — roughly seven feet — this century. But far too few agencies or individuals are preparing for the inevitable increase in sea level that will take place as polar ice sheets melt.
Arctic Tundra is Being Lost As Far North Quickly Warms
The treeless ecosystem of mosses, lichens, and berry plants is giving way to shrub land and boreal forest. As scientists study the transformation, they are discovering that major warming-related events, including fires and the collapse of slopes due to melting permafrost, are leading to the loss of tundra in the Arctic.
The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Sobering Update on the Science
On the eve of the Copenhagen conference, a group of scientists has issued an update on the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their conclusions? Ice at both poles is melting faster than predicted, the claims of recent global cooling are wrong, and world leaders must act fast if steep temperature rises are to be avoided.
The Economic Case for Slashing Carbon Emissions
Amid a growing call for reducing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to 350 parts per million, a group of economists maintains that striving to meet that target is a smart investment — and the best insurance policy humanity could buy.
Climate Threat to Polar Bears: Despite Facts, Doubters Remain
Wildlife biologists and climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that the disappearance of Arctic sea ice will lead to a sharp drop in polar bear populations. But some skeptics remain unconvinced, and they have managed to persuade the Canadian government not to take key steps to protect the animals.
Freeman Dyson Takes on the Climate Establishment
Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson has been roundly criticized for insisting global warming is not an urgent problem, with many climate scientists dismissing him as woefully ill-informed. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Dyson explains his iconoclastic views and why he believes they have stirred such controversy.
Retreat of Andean Glaciers Foretells Global Water Woes
Bolivia accounts for a tiny fraction of global greenhouse gas emissions. But it will soon be paying a disproportionately high price for a major consequence of global warming: the rapid loss of glaciers and a subsequent decline in vital water supplies.
Satellites and Google Earth Prove Potent Conservation Tool
Armed with vivid images from space and remote sensing data, scientists, environmentalists, and armchair conservationists are now tracking threats to the planet and making the information available to anyone with an Internet connection.
A Reporter’s Field Notes on the Coverage of Climate Change
For nearly a decade, The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert has been reporting on climate change. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talked about the responsibility of both the media and scientists to better inform the public about the realities of a warming world.
Tracking the Fallout of the Arctic’s Vanishing Sea Ice
Julienne Stroeve, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, has been closely monitoring the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she explains how the repercussions of that disappearance will be felt throughout the far north and, eventually, the entire hemisphere.
Keeping a Watchful Eye on Unstable Antarctic Ice
NASA’s Robert Bindschadler, a leading expert on glaciers and ice sheets, is part of an international team monitoring a large and fast-moving glacier in West Antarctica. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he explains the dramatic impact this unstable mass of ice could have on global sea levels.
The Arctic Resource Rush is On
As the Arctic's sea ice melts, energy and mining companies are moving into previously inaccessible regions to tap the abundant riches that lie beneath the permafrost and the ocean floor. The potential environmental impacts are troubling.